It was Mr Mo’s 40th birthday some weeks back. Members of the Mobility team took time out to hang out with him at Ice Cream Factory. Unfortunately, the full team could not be present, but we had fun all the same. Besides some ice cream and the usual banter, we put him on the hot seat and fired questions at him. As the Iya Eto (organiser) of the event, I went first.
WorLdFamous Lammy: Thanks for giving us some of your time to be here with us today. My first question: how does it feel to be 40?
Mister Mo: It feels just like 29.
WorLdFamous Lammy: Really? You do not feel old?
Mister Mo: (laughs) No; I feel as young as ever.
WorLdFamous Lammy: For some of your readers who do not know how you started, can you tell us what motivated you to start Mobility blog?
Mister Mo: I have been a mobile enthusiast for years. Before Mobility, I used to own a blog called GoSmartMobile. That was at a time in which it was difficult to make payments for foreign services in Nigeria. For payment reasons, I eventually lost that domain name. Meanwhile, I was already active on MobileNigeria.com, a forum started by Seun Osewa before he later started and shifted his attention to Nairaland. Those of us who were mobile enthusiasts were disappointed that he abandoned MobileNigeria for Nairaland. Eventually, I created MobilityNigeria.com to replace GoSmartMobile and also to fill the void of MobileNigeria.com. Here we are some years down the road and Mobility is bigger than any of us thought it would ever be. I am still having fun running it.
WorLdFamous Lammy: That sounds great. You have motivated so many people through Mobility. Now, to this matter of your phones: How does it feel to have owned over 80 mobile phones?
Mister Mo: I don’t know exactly, but exciting would be a good way to describe the feeling. I really love mobile devices and I have treasured almost every mobile device I have owned. I don’t keep them. What I usually do is that once they are getting outdated, I sell them off or give them out as gifts, but yes I have owned over 88 mobile phones, I deliberately refuse to give the exact figures.
WorLdFamous Lammy: Why?
Mister Mo: Askor! *laughs* I deliberately refuse to give the exact figures. Perhaps 20 years from now you will find out why, but for now let’s keep it as part of the fun.
WorLdFamous Lammy: Okay. I am handing over to Dayo who is going to be asking Mister Mo a few questions that won’t be easy for him to answer
Dayo cuts in: That is going to be difficult.
WorLdFamous Lammy: I know you’ve known him for years and so can put him on his toes. Over to you.
Dayo: I have known Yomi popularly known as Mister Mo for….
Lammy Interrupts Dayo: Sorry to cut you short. You are wearing the same hair style. Is it on purpose?
Dayo: He has decided to join the club; I have been wearing the style since forever. *everyone laughs*
Dayo continues: I have known him for over 20 years. While so many people know him as Mister Mo, I know him as my padi (slang for close friend). I will like to start with mobile devices because he’s been a mobile person forever. Of the over 88 phones you’ve owned, which will you consider your best?
Mister Mo: (laughs) that is going to be so hard because there have been phases in mobile technology and at each phase I have had favorites. Now to ask me which has been my favorite….
Dayo: For each phase, pick one.
Mister Mo: That’s a long journey you are asking me to go into. In the early stages, I was superbly fascinated by the ERICSON R380s. It was arguably one of the granddad of modern smartphones. I was also enamored by the MOTOROLA Accompli 008. Then the NOKIA communicators were always a favorite (I owned the 9210, 9500, and E90). I had a blast with the lot of them. I also particularly enjoyed the E7, though I wish it had the camera quality of the N8. In the postmodern world of mobile technology, I will say that the phone that has really made a huge impression on me is the HTC one X. Without questions, it pops up immediately. Then there’s the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (I love it to bits). But it’s just not my phone because of the size. I am really not a fan of monster phones. (laughs) But those two phones in more recent times made a huge impression on me.
Dayo: Okay. This has to do with your age. Turning 40 is considered a milestone and a new phase in a man’s life. What new things should we expect from you now that you are 40?
Mister Mo: Aaahhhh you want my secrets… *laughs*
Lammy cuts in: We are already seeing some, the new hair style.
Mister Mo: Change in my lifestyle? I intend to live a more exciting life. I really do consider that I have just begun to live, so for me, the phrase “life begins at 40” is not a cliche. It is reality for me. I have made some mistakes in the years gone by that I am in the process of correcting.
Work wise, mobile is my life so I can’t get away from it. But I do have a new focus and it is more or less getting into the entertainment world. For example, already on Mobility blog, just yesterday, we started House of Mo. It has never seen before. It is the first reality series in the tech mobile world and it is making waves already. Everyone is excited about it.
What House Of Mo is all about? Consider the last 10 or so years of my mobile lifestyle, and my life as a whole being related to you by my mobile devices. Those devices will tell you a lot about those aspects of my life that you don’t know or get to see. My mobile devices are with me all the time, so they get to see and hear those things. They know my chats, my phone logs, and every conversation I have ever had. They know everywhere I have been. They will be telling you… it is going to be fun. *Everyone Laughs*
You’ve also seen what I did with my friend, Kathleen Ndongmo with Karaoke With A Tweep. I love music and dance, and will be doing more of such fun stuff, with videos being made available for free download, so everyone can enjoy them on their mobile devices and/or PCs.
Besides those, I am going to travel some more, have fun some more, dance some more, visit new places, and meet new people.
Dayo: One more question before I hand over to Omon. Having been in mobile blogging and writing about mobile technology for a while, I am sure that there are younger people who are looking to take up the same business. What would you like to tell them?
Mister Mo: I notice you mentioned business, so it’s not just blogging. There are those who blog for fun and there are those who blog for business. If you want to blog for business, first thing I will say to you is that you need to come in with business mindset from the word Go. Blogging for fun is a whole different ball game from blogging for business. You cannot run your blog the same way. You cannot apply all the same principles, and you can’t take it as business as usual. You come in from a business standpoint. What is my business model? What value am I adding? Sort these out before starting. If you are not decisive about the business aspect of it, your blog is probably going to fall off along the way. So think business if you want to do business.
Omon: On your personal blog, what brought about the new phase of straying from writing strictly about mobile to writing about love, lifestyle etc?
Mister Mo: Good! Like I said, there are new directions that I am taking with my life. At 20 -25, you have ideas, you have passion, dreams. Between 25 and 30, you are already running with those dreams and getting your fingers burnt because somewhere along the line you are discovering the difference between ideals and reality. By the time you are heading towards 40 you have pretty much seen everything and then you realize that the information and experience you have gained over the years can be of use to others. My personal blog is my channel for dispensing some of those things that I have learnt from experience. That’s the background of the content that goes out of my personal blog.
Dayo: On a lighter note if you don’t mind, I notice that Dbanj spoke about kokolets, you spoke about Mobilettes, can you tell us about your Mobilettes?
Mister Mo: Yeap!! Hahaha (laughs) You are a nasty person! My Mobilettes are everywhere – on Twitter, on Facebook, Whatsapp, etc. My phones know about all these things. Follow House Of Mo so my phones can regale you with all the details
Omon: You write on controversial issues. These are issues that most would rather not talk about. Why do you do that? Does it not bother you writing about such?
Mister Mo: I have been a non-conformist for most of my adult life. That means that while I understand society has norms and expectations, unfortunately we are all different and there are times when the norms just don’t fly for everybody. I think it is wrong to try fix everybody into one mold and I think it’s really a bad idea to assume that because society approves something it must be right or that because society disapproves of something, it must be wrong. There are lots of things society frowns at and there’s nothing wrong with them. I don’t shy away from controversies. The world is not either white or black, for the most part. And there are a lot of shades in between white and black. I love to look at the shades. Where the average person wants things to be either A or B, there’s A.B.C.D…. all the way and I want to look at all the possibilities.
Without doubt, there are some black and white stuff, like: honesty, and diligence. Those are values all of us should uphold. Outside of those foundation stuff, I think that the world is too rich and diverse for anybody to try to box everybody up the way we do because we are only looking at things from our own little corners.
Omon: So you don’t see yourself as a rebellious person?
Mister Mo: I look at issues, think them through all the various possibilities and as long as I see valid things in all those possibilities then I acknowledge them. I believe that people should be free to take up valid options. I don’t see myself as a rebel. I am sure that a lot of people probably see me that way, but HEY!! What’s in a name? A rose by any other name is still a rose.
Omon: I would like you to talk about your views on how the relationship between staff and boss should be.
Mister Mo: I am totally convinced that the relationship between a boss and a subordinate contributes to the productivity of the work team one way or the other. I am totally convinced about that. My personal stand is that your work place should be as good as your home. Or better. Most workers actually spend more active or awake time at the workplace than at home. The workplace should be cordial. The boss should be a friend. People should be happy to look forward to going to work every morning.
Also, hopefully outsiders should be able to come into your work environment and not immediately be able to tell who the boss is because of the rapport with the team members. Those are my beliefs. Of course, there are other important things to being a good boss, but having a cordial relationship with workers makes work interesting and lively and aids productivity. I think the boss should not be the boss.
WorldFamous Lammy: Before we round up, I have 3 more important questions I will like you to answer. You seem to be a lady’s man and seem to have many crushes that I know of…
Mister Mo: Ha!! I have crushes that you know of? Ha!!! We are kidnapping this lady today. She must tell us everything she knows…. *laughter everywhere*
WorldFamous Lammy: So how do you handle them?
Mister Mo: I was raised by my parents to value ladies, to value the female gender. I have sisters, and I look out for them. I just extend this to every woman I meet. I am very old school when it comes to women. I believe in being courteous and chivalrous. I am also an incurable romantic.
WorldFamous Lammy: *Coughs and clears throat*
Mister Mo: I do not know for sure what may be bringing about those crushes but whoever they are, I hope that it is because they can see how respectable and how much of a gentleman I try to be. I don’t know how successful I am at it, but I do at least try to be.
WorldFamous Lammy: Not quite long ago, I saw a video of you and your son dancing to d’Banj’s Oliver Twist. I will like to know why you love dancing so much. You are a very good dancer too. I think I have seen you dance once or twice. Are there any of your kids who wants to take after you in tech?
Mister Mo: Dancing is a genetic thing for me. I got it from my mom. She was and still is known for her dancing skills. When mom and I get on the dance floor, we are a spectacle to behold. It is genetic for me. I didn’t have to learn to dance. I don’t really go out of my way to learn new dance steps. When I hear the music, almost instinctively, I can pick up the dance steps. So dance is something that is very natural for me. It is therapeutic, providing physical exercises, and clearing stress as well. Both my kids take after me. They dance well.
In terms of mobile technology, my son is already catching up, but it is up to him to decide what path to walk in life. Having said that, he takes after me in a lot of things. He is into technology, he draws, he paints, he sings, and he dances. He’s just taking after me without any apologies.
WorldFamous Lammy: Does he write?
Mister Mo: Yes; he writes. He is already producing home-made comic books, and he is the one who both writes the scripts and draws out the images.
WorldFamous Lammy: Lastly, what would you like to say to your fans – your loyal readers and regulars – at Mobility blog?
Mister Mo: I would like to say thank you for being there month after month, and year after year. Thank you for reading. There are times the site has had problems, and you didn’t walk away. Also, we have not always agreed on issues, and sometimes we bite ourselves. But it is boring to agree all the time. Who wants to run a boring blog? I am really grateful and happy to have people who think that I am worth reading. Lots of people write and nobody reads, so I don’t take it for granted that I have readers. I will tell you all to stick around. This young boy is just getting warmed up… Thank You!!!
WorldFamous Lammy: Thanks for hanging out with us, Mister Mo. Happy 40th birthday to you once again!!!!!!!!!
*Cameras switch to the cups of ice cream…….